Inside ‘Madeira’s Ex-president Springs To Defence Under-Fire Cristiano Ronaldo’ The ex-president of Madeira has leapt to the defence of Cristiano Ronaldo – telling Portuguese people to avoid ‘envy and jealously’ in regard to the country’s ‘most famous individual.
Alberto Joao Jardim, who served as the President of the Regional Government of Madeira – where Ronaldo hails from – between 1978 and 2015 jumped to the defence of the superstar amid mounting criticism surrounding his interview with Piers Morgan.
First revealed on Sunday evening, Ronaldo spoke to Morgan in an extended interview for TalkTV in which he outlined his various gripes with Manchester United, Erik ten Hag and Ralf Rangnick among others.
Madeira’s Ex-president Springs To Defence Under-Fire Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo alongside Alberto Joao Jardim received the Medal of Merit in Madeira
With videos emerging from Portugal’s pre-Qatar World Cup camp at the City of Football, the country’s national centre, showing Bruno Fernandes and Joao Cancelo giving Ronaldo short shrift, he has come in for criticism for potentially destabilising their campaign before it has even begun in the Middle East.
However, writing on Facebook, Jardim leapt to the defence of Madeira’s most famous son.
‘The anti-Ronaldo campaign, the country at its worst: envy, bad language and ingratitude to the Madeiran who is the best known and most popular Portuguese in the world.
Cristiano Ronaldo has said that he feels ‘betrayed’ by Manchester United over their actions
‘Not any of the Lisbon nerds. Ronaldo, tell them to f*** off,’ he wrote.
The situation surrounding the Portuguese has escalated in recent days with extracts of the interview has been drip fed every night since Sunday. Wednesday and Thursday see the release of the full interview in two parts.
‘I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me,’ said Ronaldo of the current United boss. ‘Some people, they don’t want me here – not only the coach but the other two or three guys.
Ronaldo’s relationship with Ten Hag has been the talk of the town ever since he arrived
‘Not only this year but last year too. Honestly, I shouldn’t say that. But listen, I don’t care. People should listen to the truth. Yes, I feel betrayed.’
Meanwhile, former manager Ralf Rangnick also came in for criticism, with Ronaldo confirming rumours of their disagreements last season by telling Morgan that he did not even know who he was.
‘After Ole, they bring in sport directive Ralf Rangnick, which is something nobody understands’, he said. ‘This guy is not even a coach. A big club like Manchester United bringing in a sport directive surprised not only me but all the world.
‘If you’re not even a coach, how are you going to be the boss of Manchester United? I’d never even heard of him.’
Manchester United responded to the interview publicly by saying that they will wait to establish the full facts before acting.
When Ronaldo – and team-mate Fernandes – joined up with Portugal earlier this week, it was thought that that would spell the end of the feuding for a month at least as they concentrated on winning Portugal’s maiden World Cup.
Bruno Fernandes walked into the dressing room and looked to avoid Cristiano Ronaldo
The Portugal captain wanted to greet his club and international team-mate however ahead of them jetting out to Qatar
Fernandes duly accepted Ronaldo’s offer of a handshake before saying something that left the recalcitrant forward-looking mildly baffled
That was not to be, however, as Fernandes appeared to snub the wantaway United star when greeted by him in the dressing room.
Supporters largely backed Fernandes on social media.
One wrote: ‘Bruno wasn’t going to shake hands if Ronaldo didn’t reach out, and he clearly had his face down [throughout], which clearly means he wasn’t interested in shaking hands if Ronaldo didn’t reach out.’
One other said Fernandes’ actions only endeared them to him more. ‘Bruno has been winning me over this season. His performances have been class and this is even better,’ they wrote.
‘Bruno is all of us. What a guy!’ another wrote.